Karen Richards

Reporter

Karen Richards has been a volunteer reporter since the fall of 2012.

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Lane County’s deadliest stretch of road will be getting some safety improvements soon, and officials hope for additional long-term changes. Work begins soon on the construction on Highway 126 West near Walton.

There were ten deaths in 12 months last year on Highway 126 between Eugene and the coast. In response, Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich organized a task force to study how to prevent more accidents.

Bozievich: “Most of the crashes were lane departures. And it was either due to excessive speed or driver distraction.”

lanecc.edu

The Lane Community College board voted four to two Wednesday night to eliminate the Auto Body and Electronic Technology programs. The controversial decision came just after dozens of people voiced their concerns in a public comment session.

The administration proposed the cuts as part of its plan to offset next year’s projected $4.7 million dollar deficit. LCC staff, former and past students and local business owners said the board had asked the wrong questions and not followed procedures. Jim Salt is President of the LCC Education Association:

Over the next few years, more trucks in Oregon may be running on the waste from yesterday’s burgers. Oregon-based SeQuential Biofuels has upgraded its equipment and added jobs, to prepare for a growing market.

In mid-March, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the Clean Fuels Program bill. It requires sellers and manufacturers of transportation fuel to implement the reduced emissions rules legislators developed over the past five years. SeQuential’s Rachel Shaver says they’re expecting increased demand because the new law looks at lifecycle emissions:

Karen Richards

Soccer has been growing in the United States for years, and the number of professional teams is exploding. Fans in Eugene and Springfield are beneficiaries of the expansion. The Lane United Football Club begins its second season Friday.

Lane United is a semi-professional team. Most of the athletes are current top-tier college players. This year, there’s also a group of club players from Spain. Spokesman Chris Burke says the mix makes for a quality game:

Karen Richards

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio led a rally today (Monday) in Eugene. He was raising awareness of President Obama’s push for “fast track” authority to implement a controversial trade agreement.

City of Eugene

A controversial tax exemption program for housing in downtown Eugene has been suspended since 2013. Yesterday (Wednesday), the City Council voted to let the public comment on its amended version of the multi-unit property tax exemption, or MUPTE, program.

Karen Richards

Construction trucks are at work on the site of the new Roosevelt Middle School in South Eugene. Current sixth graders should be able to start eighth grade on the new campus.

Bonds approved in 2013 funded the rebuilding of four aging Eugene schools. Superintendent Shelley Berman says the recent groundbreaking is an exciting moment:

Berman: “We’re moving ahead in a very rapid way around Roosevelt. We hope that we’ll get it open in fall of 2016. I know that they’re beginning to move dirt and will be setting the foundation fairly soon.”

Karen Richards

Federal Judge Michael McShane is “on the fence” whether to stay a lawsuit brought by the Newport Fishermen’s Wives against the Coast Guard, or dismiss it. The suit is over the agency’s threatened closure of the rescue helicopter station.

The Mayor of Newport along with several city and county officials attended the hearing at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. Attorney Sean Duffy represents the Coast Guard. He asked the judge to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff’s lawyer Mike Haglund was upbeat after the hearing:

www.iaaf.org

Eugene, Oregon has been awarded the 2021 World Track and Field Championships after many weeks of quiet negotiations.

Eugene earned a close second in last fall’s bid for the 2019 World Championships. In February, organizers appealed to IAAF president Lamine Diack, and were encouraged to campaign for the 2021 event. Track Town USA President Vin Lananna says he wasn’t feeling confident until this week. He spoke from Beijing after the council meeting: 

Gang activity is a concern of law enforcement in Eugene and Springfield. Community members can attend a forum Wednesday to get more information on the issue.

The forum is part of a new program in response to concerns and phone calls from residents. Captain Sherri Meisel with the Eugene Police Department says they’ll present photos and tips for people on things like graffiti:

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